Question: I’ve been watching the Wide Is the Gate video series with some friends. We watched “Youth Movements and the Social Gospel” from volume 2 in which T. A. McMahon states: “in trying to solve the problems, fix the world, many Christians don’t realize that they’re actually going to be helping the Antichrist develop his kingdom.” My friends were disturbed by this statement and understood it to mean that Christians should not help with anything that makes the world a better place. The world is destined to be destroyed and only those who are going to follow the Antichrist want to make it better. Is this what you meant?
Response: Sometimes in an interview when a somewhat lengthy answer is given, the context can suffer in the editing process. I’m not sure that was the case in my Wide Is the Gate interview, but since I’ve addressed the subject a number of times, let me fill you in on what I was trying to communicate. There are many programs today throughout Christendom that could be categorized as biblical good works (Eph:2:10). That’s because they are consistent with the Word of God. On the other hand, there are programs that have lost touch or possibly never were in touch with what the Scriptures teach about good works. They replace the Gospel of God with the social gospel of man. Examples would be attempts at curing the world’s ills of poverty, illiteracy, injustice, disease, and so forth. That objective may seem good to the world but it’s not the objective of the Bible. It is also impossible. Only as the Word of God changes hearts can the root of sin that has produced such problems be eradicated. Temporal solutions provide no answer to the dilemma of where the lost will spend eternity.
As biblical Christians, our dealings with these matters must be in line with the Word of God. Our priority in good works needs to be the eternal salvation of souls. Jesus didn’t come to earth and go to the cross to make the world a better place for its inhabitants. He came to pay the penalty for our sin. He came to reconcile us to God so that we could be with Him for all eternity. That’s the good news of the gospel. Yet the Bible tells us that as we have “opportunity, let us do good unto all men….” Obviously, the best “good” is to encourage unbelievers to turn to the Lord. We can demonstrate the love of God through sharing His Word and providing for physical needs. These “opportunities” are a blessing and a natural result of living our lives for Christ.
Biblical Christians also need to be very discerning regarding the “good works” of ministries we support. Although sincere in their intention to minister to the world, more than a few have agendas that are contrary to Scripture. Two examples among many that could be given: World Vision does not proselytize, it conforms to and uses the sociological strategies of the world, and it is pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel; Rick Warren’s Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan encourages working with the world’s religions in order to solve social issues, including the problem of “spiritual emptiness.”
As I stated in the video, and in regard to the above, Christians who are participating in ministries that are ignoring the Bible in favor of manmade agendas may be unwittingly contributing to the development of the kingdom of the Antichrist. The chronology of Scripture indicates that the next kingdom on earth will be the seven-year reign of the Antichrist. If believers contribute to a ministry that believes it is literally ushering in God’s Kingdom here on earth now or that is working toward restoring the earth in disregard of what the Bible declares prophetically, again, they will be unaware that they are furthering the plans of the Adversary. Your friends, as well as the rest of us who love the Lord, need to consider whatever we do in the light of God’s Word.